From John Caruana
District 9820 chair Model United Nations Assembly
Sixty-five high school students from 23 schools and sponsored by 24 Rotary Clubs from the district gathered at Phillip Island over the weekend of 18th-20th May for the Model United Nations Assembly (MUNA). They travelled from as far as Gippsland, East Gippsland, Latrobe Valley, Frankston and the Mornington Peninsula. Pictured above are the winners of the best overall delegation, China (right) and the winners of the peace award , USA (left) along with the group as a whole and the MUNA  logo.
In delegations representing their country of choice and dressed in the national costume of that country, they debated global issues in the area of peace and security, human rights, refugees and the environment. Many Rotarians, teachers and parents visited during the day and witnessed the debates in progress.
 
The weekend was officially opened by Dr John Steward who worked as Manager of Reconciliation and Peacebuilding for World Vision in the challenging environment of Rwanda. He recruited a group of Rwandans who made crucial, long-term contributions to the processes of healing and change after the genocide.
 Saturday night a number of Rotarians, teachers and parents joined the delegates for a formal dinner. Mr Gary Newton from Polio Australia spoke about growing up as a polio sufferer, the work of Rotary International and the Bill & Belinda Gates Foundation work to eradicate polio and how he turned negative situations in his life into positive ones. 
After the finish of debating, District Governor Don Ripper presented certificates of participation to each delegate. He also presented awards to the winning delegations.
This year’s winners were:
 Best overall Winner: Max Walton Briggs & Yebin Yang representing China from Berwick Grammar & St Margaret’s School and sponsored by the Rotary Club of Berwick. They will now travel to Canberra in August to represent the district at the National MUNA to be held at the old Parliament House.
2nd Place went to Oliver Ward and Sabrina Ward representing Myanmar also from Berwick Grammar and St Margaret’s sponsored by the Rotary Club of Pakenham.
The Peace Trophy which is awarded to the delegation that is assessed to have made the greatest contribution to the weekend and the promotion of world peace was presented to the USA delegation represented by Lucaya Rich and Brooke Sekulitch from Flinders Christian College Tyabb Campus and sponsored by the Rotary Club of Sommerville Tyabb.
The Most Popular Delegation was won by North Korea represented by Oscar Harry & Ellie Pearce from Newhaven College and sponsored by the Rotary Club of Phillip Island San Remo. This award is voted for by the delegations themselves.
Best Costume award was also won by the Myanmar Delegation.
The first MUNA was held in Canada and introduced to Australia in 1980 in NSW and since then it has been conducted in most districts in Australia, New Zealand and around the world.
MUNA is hosted by the Rotary Club of Traralgon with assistance from Rotarians from various clubs on behalf of District 9820.
If you would like more information about District 9820 MUNA please visit the MUNA website @ www.muna9820.org.au or contact P.P. John Caruana by email, muna@district9820.org or phone 0417 394854.